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What Telescope to actually see Mars?

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posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 06:08 AM
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What Telescope to actually see Mars? I have had several amateur small telescopes over the years, Have seen the Rings of Saturn, Moons and lines in Jupiter, its moons. Is there a telescope under 5k that you can actually see Mars features with? Preferably it would have auto find, GPS, can hook to computer and view it on the screen as well as through the scope itself.

My wife knowing I enjoy star gazing bought me a 130 mm Celestron for Christmas and of course Mars is just a shiny dot...Did not have the heart to let her know it was not a great scope.

I realize I could spend hours online googling and figure it out but in the past I have ended up disappointed. If not 5k how much would it cost to have a awesome backyard mobile scope like I mention above and which one would it be?

Not sure I would ever invest in it but I would like to know if such things exist!




posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 06:56 AM
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Hi Xeven. You might be struggling to get what you expect to see from here on Earth, but saying that I know next to nothing on the subject. However, hopefully a member ngchunter will help you out, or wildespace perhaps. Take a look through this ATS Astrophotography Thread and see if you can maybe pm some of the experts in there if you have no luck here, or simply ask in the thread.

Best of luck in your search, and you seem to have a healthy budget so I will be interested to see what results you end up with eventually!


(I took a quick search, I'll quote)


originally posted by: ngchunter
Mars, on 4/3/14


Keep in mind he has amazing skills and great gear, but his Mars pic is quite fuzzy which isn't due to his lack of skill, just the challenges of it being so small compared to Jupiter or Saturn for instance - but as I say, I'm no expert and you have to start somewhere, otherwise hijack the MRO from NASA
. (are we allowed to use the word hijack, or is the NSA gonna be all over my lawn now?)

edit on 17-2-2015 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 07:02 AM
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a reply to: Xeven

Best Telescopes for Beginners: Reviews and Buying Guide


Dave Brody, SPACE.com Science Writer & Angela Parkinson, TopTenREVIEWS | January 09, 2015 10:16am ET


Hope its some use.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 07:05 AM
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I own a 10" Dobsonian telescope and Mars is still pretty small. Typically I cannot go to much over 250x mag because of the atmosphere. I currently only have about $1000 in my setup. Mine is a manual tele, but they do have gps dobs.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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I have a celestron powerseeker 127 eq
Mars is only ever going to be so big. If i had the money i'd go for an Orion XT10, its a 10" dobsonian. It comes in auto-find too. Often the bigger the mirror the better. You can get eyepiece filters as well that are used for planetary viewing, it makes the image sharper/more contrast depending on the lense



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: Xeven

Eh sorry didnt see you wanted to spunk 5 grand on one lol.

If moneys sort of no object a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope should do the trick.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 07:58 AM
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5 grand on a scope....

Do you want to be able to carry it around or no. Hahaha.

Celestron Knowledgebase


Planets: Here you’ll need a long focal length scope to take advantage of high magnifications (when the atmosphere is steady enough to use them). to be able to see details in Jupiter’s clouds, Mars’ features, etc. Large aperture is also great for high resolution when using with high magnifications. Therefore, the bigger the scope, the better to take advantage of good seeing for planetary viewing. Big scopes will also let you see faint Pluto, planetary satellites and minor planets. The best scopes are at least 5 inches (125 mm) aperture and 1250 mm focal length or more.


If you want to view deep sky objects, the bigger the better. Get yourself a filter kit too, i would kill for a Nebula filter (They're 100 bucks or so. I hate being poor). I'd also kill to get out for a few hours of viewing without getting frostbite.
edit on 17/2/15 by AzureSky because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:17 AM
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a reply to: AzureSky

Personaly for me its a matter of diminishing returns with mars, alright, a 5 grand scope will have a clearer shot of mars than one at 500 for sure, but 4,500 dollars clearer?, hmmm. And then theres the cost of the camera you presumably want to capture the shots with lol.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:25 AM
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F**k Mars! With a 5k Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, do you realise the wonders you will see?

As a life long astronomer, currently sans telescope...im very very jealous

Good luck dude



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:26 AM
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Personally, I would forgo all the bells & whistles and invest in a larger aperture & excellent eyepieces.

My rig:

- Sky-Watcher 10" Dobsonian telescope.
- TeleVue eyepieces: Ethos 6mm, 13mm, & 21mm; Nagler 31mm; and a 2x Barlow.
- Meade Series 4000 Eyepiece & Filter.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:31 AM
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originally posted by: Dabrazzo
a reply to: AzureSky

Personaly for me its a matter of diminishing returns with mars, alright, a 5 grand scope will have a clearer shot of mars than one at 500 for sure, but 4,500 dollars clearer?, hmmm. And then theres the cost of the camera you presumably want to capture the shots with lol.


Almost everything has diminishing returns like that. too many factors. But i assume planetary viewing won't be the only thing on the agenda!. If i ever win the lotto i'm getting myself one of those 18" monsters. I see your point though, i'd say smack 3k on the scope and 2k on other things like the camera/t-ring/t-adapter/dovetail/filters



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:39 AM
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originally posted by: AzureSky


Get you one of these!



edit on 17-2-2015 by DMFL1133 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:44 AM
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a reply to: DMFL1133

That's intense..

also that ladder is something i've never seen.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 09:55 AM
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originally posted by: DMFL1133
Personally, I would forgo all the bells & whistles and invest in a larger aperture & excellent eyepieces.

I concur (even though I don't have a telescope myself). General rule is that eyepieces give you the magnification (i.e. how large Mars will appear) while the telescope diameter determines the resolution and clarity.

I'd like to know what kind of telescopes you can get for 5k...



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: Qumulys

Not my best shot of Mars, to be honest. Part of the problem is that I was actually webcasting that video, so I stacked off of the saved video of the webcast which had been heavily compressed by YouTube already for live streaming. The other issue is that good apparitions of the planet Mars come and go in cycles. Everyone probably remembers the apparition in 2003, the closest Mars would ever be in our lifetimes. I was lucky enough to be in college at that time, and a member of the astronomy club. We used the university's 26" Schmidt-Cassegrain to show the public (and ourselves) the close approach. We had people lined up for a quarter mile down the street to the point that it began blocking up traffic on the main road and the police actually came to shut us down. We had to turn everyone not already in line away. My personal telescope at the time was a 6" Newtonian on a german equatorial mount. It was ok, but I wanted to do more serious astrophotography. I upgraded the next year to an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain LX200 classic and have been happy ever since.

I've also been waiting for the next perihelion apparition of Mars. The reason the 2003 approach was so close was that Mars was basically at its closest point to the sun when opposition occurred, making the approach the closest it had been in thousands of years. That lineup was as close as it will ever be in our lifetimes, but we get oppositions that are almost just as well timed to Mars' perihelion date in cycles of about 15~17 years. The next "perihelic opposition" of Mars occurs on July 27, 2018. Mars was 25.1 arcseconds wide as seen from earth in August 2003, it will be almost just as large, 24.1 arcseconds, in July 2018. The 2007, 2010, 2012, and 2014 oppositions were all around 15.5 arcseconds or less in apparent size, making it harder to see the details on Mars. The 2005 opposition was the last one which was significantly better than those imho, at about 19.8 arcseconds in size. That was also the first one that occurred after I had acquired my current telescope, and as a result it allowed me to take my best picture of Mars to date:

I'm looking forward to the 2018 opposition since I've upgraded my planetary camera since then. You can spend a lot on planetary cameras if you go with a high end model, but I try to keep it simple. Originally I used a Meade LPI for the above picture, but now I use a modified Samsung SDC-435 (aka SCB-2000) which I find produces a very sharp picture when set properly. The May 2016 opposition should be good as well, Mars will be at 18.4 arcseconds apparent size.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 11:21 AM
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originally posted by: wildespace

You could get a good idea at the following link:

www.telescope.com...



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 03:38 PM
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originally posted by: Dabrazzo
a reply to: AzureSky

Personaly for me its a matter of diminishing returns with mars, alright, a 5 grand scope will have a clearer shot of mars than one at 500 for sure, but 4,500 dollars clearer?, hmmm. And then theres the cost of the camera you presumably want to capture the shots with lol.


Exactly why I am asking rather than just reading. Already have a killer camera. Wife does anyway



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 03:39 PM
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a reply to: ngchunter

Dude....i think i speak for everyone when I say that is absolutely astounding.

Wow




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